The gamut of modern art grace the walls of AGWA

By  |  0 Comments

Van Gogh, Dalí & Beyond: The World Reimagined opened at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) recently, and is the third in a series of six exhibitions on display exclusively in Perth.

Having arrived direct from New York, the exhibition presents over 130 works by 96 artists who have virtually have told ‘their story’ of 20th Century living via landscape, still life, portraiture and installation.

Present at a media preview was Glenn D. Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, who referred to the exhibition as  “a means of tracing the most important ideas of the late 19th and 20th Century into this century.

Said Lowry, “This exhibition is a kind of visual record of how the most critically acclaimed artists of the past century fought through the problems all of us faced. If you think about the 20th Century, it really began in 1913 with the First World War, and ended in 2001 with the terrorist attacks in New York. It’s a century punctuated with catastrophic events on the one hand, and extraordinary technological and scientific achievement on the other hand – often interrelated.

“All of those ideas – the way in which we construct our world – is embedded in the way artists think. They’re not immune or oblivious to these great changes that order the way in which we understand our world.”

Indeed the collection is so diverse in its inclusion of just about every movement and ideology in modern art, there is something for every gallery visitor to be impressed by. Works include the familiar and not-so-familiar spanning the gamut of the post-impressionists (Van Gogh, Cézanne) to the surrealists (Dalí, Frida Kahlo), the cubists (Pablo Picasso) to the post-postmodernists (Laurie Anderson, Urs Fischer).

What is most interesting is the way many works are ‘segued’ in theme, wall to wall. An entire area, for example, appears dedicated to fruit as still life. A work as quaint as Cézanne Still Life with Ginger Jar, Sugar Bowl, and Oranges (above) is juxtaposed with a pop artist’s stark installation of larger-than-life pop replicas of fruit and flowers, below), while nearby hangs Urs Fischer’s minimalist assemblage Apple and Pear (the real fruit literally screwed together).

Other stand-out works include the oil paintings by German-born Gerhard Richter (below), whose brushstrokes and detail are so intricate, you think you’re looking at actual photographs; Francis Bacon, whose Number VII from Eight Studies for a Portrait adds a paranormal quality to the collection, and Gustav Klimt’s The Park – which diverts from the artist’s usual gold-gilded interior feminine works.

That said, each and every piece in Van Gogh, Dalí & Beyond: The World Reimagined is as stunning as it is an imperative ingredient in the history of art. The exhibition runs at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from now until December 2. For more information visit www.momaseries.com.au.

(Artwork credits from top of story:)

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)The Olive Trees Saint Rémy, June-July 1889Oil on canvas

28 5/8″ x 36″ (72.6 x 91.4 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest

 

Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989)

Illumined Pleasures 1929

Oil and collage on composition board

9 3/8 x 13 3/4″ (23.8 x 34.7 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection

© 2013 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Elizabeth Peyton (American, born 1965)

Jake at the New Viet Huong 1995

Oil on Masonite

16 x 12″ (40.6 x 30.5 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gift of the Peter Norton Foundation

© 2013 Elizabeth Peyton

 

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954)

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair 1940

Oil on canvas

15 3/4 x 11″ (40 x 27.9 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.

© 2013 Frida Kahlo / Artists Rights Society

(ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico

 

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906)

Still Life with Ginger Jar, Sugar Bowl, and Oranges 1902-06

Oil on canvas

23 7/8 x 28 7/8″ (60.6 x 73.3 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Lillie P. Bliss Collection

 

Urs Fischer (Swiss, born 1973)

Untitled 2000

Apple and pear, nylon, filament, screws

Dimensions variable

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gift of the artist

© 2013 Urs Fischer

 

Gerhard Richter (German, born 1932)Self-Portrait 1996

Oil on linen 20 1/8 x 18 1/4″ (51.1 x 46.4 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and

Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds

© 2013 Gerhard Richter

 

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918)

The Park 1910 or earlier

Oil on canvas

43 1/2 x 43 1/2″ (110.4 x 110.4 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

  Gertrud A. Mellon Fund